Every big publisher on the Web wants to be able to serve up ad-friendly videos, but creating them can be a pain. But there are already plenty of high-quality videos out there in every subject imaginable. With that in mind, Answers.com has quietly launched Video Answers with about 200,000 videos from video distribution network 5min on everything from home repair and fashion tips to cars and travel.
5Min is already one of the largest video networks, with more than 110 million video views a month and 30 million unique visitors across 800 partner sites. But Answers.com will become its biggest partner by far. 5Min syndicates videos from about 1,000 online video producers, including CBS, Hearst, Scripps, and WatchMojo. Anytime one of 5Min’s videos matches a question asked on Answers.com, WikiAnswers, or ReferenceAnswers, video results will show up and they will play on the new Video Answers page. Advertising revenues will be split between Answers.com, 5Min, and the video publisher, with roughly a third going to each.
“What we are really building here is ability for every publisher to have their own video section without producing because I think there is no ROI for production,” says CEO Ran Harnevo. The videos in his network are all in highly-targeted, evergreen niches like yoga or food videos with low double-digit CPMs. Video producers ca extend their reach beyond their own sites by syndicating with 5Min and make some extra cash.
5Min’s model contrasts with Demand Media’s, which produces its own videos at $50 or so a pop and shows them on eHow and its portfolio of search-friendly niche sites. AOL also wants to get into this game with its recent acquisition of Studio Now. But 5Min’s philosophy is to let others produce the best videos, and focus on distributing them at scale, while splitting the downstream revenues. “Destinations are just not big enough today,” he says.